read more at allure.com

Unless you’re on your period, experiencing bleeding after sex can certainly feel alarming. It may not be super common, but it’s certainly not unheard of (and not necessarily a sign of something bad). According to a 2014 study conducted by the Womack Army Medical Center, post-coital bleeding that isn’t period-related occurs in anywhere from .7 to 9 percent of women who menstruate.

Post-coital bleeding isn’t necessarily a sign of something bad.

Sloane York, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, says that the source of the blood is typically the cervix. Blood can also originate from inside the uterus or the side of the vagina, depending on the cause. For young women, a number of reasons could be behind post-coital bleeding. “Some women will have generally irregular periods and on-and-off bleeding, and may notice [themselves] bleeding more prominently after sex,” York says.

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